As a parent you want to make sure your kids stay healthy. And that includes being free of foot and ankle pain. Often children's foot problems are obvious. They develop painful warts or an ingrown toenail. But sometimes kids foot problems are subtle and just as problematic.
We opened the Seattle Center for Children's Foot Health in 2016 to help families get on top of their kids foot problems early. Particularly those that can lead to long term pain. Our office can determine if your children's feet are developing normally. We assess your kids feet and make recommendations to prevent future foot problems.
Foot Problems Are Inherited
Although it’s common to hear that kids grow out of foot problems, this isn’t always the case. Take a look at your own feet and physical problems. If you have flat feet, foot pain, plantar fasciitis, bunions, back, knee, or hip pain it’s likely that your child will inherit your foot and musculoskeletal issues.
But My Child Is So Young and Doesn't Have Any Foot Pain
Children do not need to have foot pain to have a foot problem. According to the American College of Foot & Ankle Surgeons your child could have a foot problem if you observe one of the following behaviors.
Your child cannot keep up with their peers
Your child withdraws from activities they usually enjoy
Your child does not want to show you their feet
Your child often trips and falls
Child complains of pain
Other Problems to Watch For
Lack of Coordination
Ages Six and Older
Knee or shin pain
Poor posture or knocked knees
Ankle pain or ankle instability
Get Your Child Screened
The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree when it comes to development of foot and other musculoskeletal problems. Although your child may grow out of their flat feet or other physical problems such as tripping and falling, if you're concerned bring them into our office to be evaluated.
Treating Your Kids Feet
During the evaluation, we may find that your child has a condition called Developmental Flat Foot. Your child will not grow out of this condition and it needs to be treated to prevent the problems we’ve outlined above. Depending on the age of your child we may decide to cast them for custom orthotics to properly align their feet. However, for younger children with rapidly growing feet we'll recommend specially designed orthotics called Little Steps®. Little Steps® are an affordable option for treating kids with flat feet. As your kids feet grow we'll replace their orthotics with a larger size.
Testimonials for Little Steps
"Pretty much right after receiving and wearing his first pair--the pain (and complaining) stopped! The difference Little Steps® made for our son proved undeniable--we have learned better than to forget his Little Steps®."
"I honestly can't tell you the difference it has made with her -- her teachers, our family all agree. She wants to wear her sneakers every day and tells me they help her run super-fast! --she was running around like crazy and I have never seen her do that berore her magical inserts. Thank you!" - Shannon M
One of the most common foot conditions we see in children and teens is ingrown toenails. The tendency to develop ingrown toenails can be inherited. Other risk factors are trauma to the toenails from participation in sports, wearing tight shoes, and improper toenail cutting. To prevent ingrown toenails from developing it's important to avoid tight cleats, monitoring of foot size to ensure shoes aren't too short, and cutting toenails straight across.
Another common foot condition in kids are warts. Warts are caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV). They spread easily and can turn into cluster warts through scratching and bleeding. Early treatment for warts works the best in preventing them from becoming painful. If your child says they have funny calluses or mentions pain when walking make an appointment with our office. At the Foot and Ankle Center of Lake City, we treat the warts with a topical medication or surgery.
While kids can develop plantar fasciitis, more often heel pain in children is Sever's Disease. The heel plate in children is not fully closed until kids are in their older teenage years making them susceptible to this condition. Sever's Disease occurs most commonly in children who are physically active, particularly in sports such as soccer, track, or basketball. Unlike plantar fasciitis the pain in Sever's Disease is better in the morning and worsens throughouit the day. Stopping physical activity and other conservative measures are used to treat this condition.
To learn more about children's foot problems, view our videos:
Other foot conditions seen in children and teens.
We needed to see Dr. Berg right away to address my five year old's ingrown toenail before our holiday travels. He and his staff were flexible for us and SO kind. Dr. Berg did everything he could to ensure the my child's comfort. My child said, "I LOVED that doctor!" - Jessica R, Seattle
If you suspect foot problems in your toddler, child, or teen, call us today at 206-368-7000 for an appointment, often same day. You can also request an appointment online. request an appointment for an evaluation with the Foot and Ankle Center of Lake City at 206-368-7000.
Seattle foot and ankle specialist, Dr. Rion Berg offers foot care for patients with bunions, heel pain, diabetes, fungal toenails, ingrown nails, and surgical solutions when needed to residents of Seattle, Bellevue, Kirkland, Shoreline, Lake Forest Park, Mountlake Terrace, Lynnwood and other surrounding suburbs.